An epic collaboration to honor and support Black Women entrepreneurs.
On the heels summer, Pine-Sol, the all-purpose household cleaning brand, continues its pledge to commit to driving support for Black female entrepreneurs. The brand has teamed up with the designer, creative director, and multi-disciplinary artist Vashtie Kola to create the ultimate limited-edition collection sneaker in honor of this pledge.
As the first woman to design a Jordan brand sneaker, Kola, an enterprising businesswoman herself, meticulously crafted bold and bright kicks that stayed true to Pine-Sol’s iconic imagery while paying homage to the grunge sneakerhead trends of her teen years.
"Cleaning with Pine-Sol every Saturday morning was how my family and I showed gratitude for what we had, and the smell of Pine-Sol immediately takes me back to that time spent with my loved ones," said Kola. "I wanted to channel those childhood memories into a shoe that sparks nostalgia while also supporting Black female entrepreneurs like myself."
EBONY sat down with the design visionary to discuss how her love for art and sneakers shined through the collaboration, her advice to young women entrepreneurs, and her excitement on serving and bringing awareness to her community.
EBONY: When we think of females in sneaker culture, we think of you. What inspired the sneaker's silhouette, and how did your love for art and sneakers show in this collaboration?
VASHTIE KOLA: '90s culture inspired me. I wanted it to be clean, classic, and comfortable. I also liked the idea of playing with the logo, and that it was very forward. It was a nod to what Andy Warhol has done with pop art and taking an iconic brand that has a heritage in America. I felt like to shy away from the logo would be doing a disservice
What was your favorite part of the design process of this collaboration?
My favorite part of the design process of the collaboration was how natural it was. To go back and forth with the brand and present my ideas and have my ideas honored. It wasn't a situation where I was fighting for my vision to happen. They were open, and we worked together. Plus, the bigger picture of this project supporting my community was the most exciting part.
What initially inspired you, and how did you stay inspired while creating this collaboration?
My inspiration was tapping into my memories of Pine-Sol as a kid. It's been a brand that's been ever-present in my life. Tapping into my introduction was important. I remember every Saturday cleaning the house with my mom and sibling and those amazing and fun moments of discovery.
All of the collaboration proceeds are going to digitalundivided, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Black female entrepreneurs. As a fellow Black businesswoman, what does this mean to you?
All proceeds will go to digitalundivided, an organization supporting Black and Latinx female entrepreneurs through mentorship, training, resources, and investment. In fact, all proceeds from pine-store.com will go to the organization. The opportunity to create something and create with a brand as iconic as Pine-Sol is exciting, and being able to support my community was triply exciting. It was a win-win situation; I was able to be creative while being supportive and of service to my community.
Do you have any advice for any young women entrepreneurs?
Yes, I would say to follow your heart. Follow your dreams. Even if you don't see yourself in the market or in the world or if there is no model for what you want to do, it doesn't mean you're not that person to do it. Growing up, there wasn't a person that I could identify with that I wanted my career to look like. But, I was able to still create my own path. I think that goes for everyone and anyone. Keep doing what you're doing, be authentic, follow your dream, be relentless, and know that there is a community out there of others able to support you.
Pine-Sol x Vashtie sneaker is available at Pine-store.com.